Grey nomads could solve rural job vacancy problem

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Regional job vacancies for grey nomads
Grey nomads ... the country needs you! PIC: Wrenchway

Grey nomads have been identified as the possible solution to the huge employment vacancy problem across regional Queensland.

The State Government believes mature-aged travellers could hold the key to filling tens of thousands of jobs, and it’s urging the Commonwealth to examine tax laws to allow them to work without damaging their pension and superannuation payments.

Treasurer Cameron Dick told the Courier-Mail that taxation issues needed to be looked at.

“It probably comes down to that point you make about taxation and super, to ensure that people who are willing to work are not penalised through the taxation system to allow them to do that work, so that’s a proposal the Federal Government should be looking at,” he said. “If we’ve got grey nomads willing to stay in a community for an extended period of time, to be part of that workforce then I think we should be encouraging that through the taxation system.”

The Treasurer said there was ‘a whole range of mechanisms that we should be looking at as a nation to try and support ensuring there’s a skilled workforce in those communities that need it’.

The Courier-Mail reports that an estimated 35,000 jobs-plus are currently unfilled across regional Queensland, the highest number of job vacancies since the global financial crisis.

Longreach Mayor Tony Rayner told the Courier-Mail that he wanted the State and Federal governments to explore how places like Longreach could potentially use the 50,000 grey nomads streaming through the town each year.

“Collectively, we have to work together to resolve that and that might be a case of not only looking at some of the schemes like the Pacific Island labour strategy scheme but looking at the grey nomads that are retired professionals,” he told The Courier-Mail. “How many of those are interested in part-time, casual work and can we have those fill the gap.”

He agreed that the way working might impact a person’s superannuation and other finances should be investigated.

“It is both a state and federal government responsibility but collectively, with local government, we need to work together to resolve an issue that’s impacting on all three tiers of government,” he said. “And it’s a good problem to have: Too many jobs, not enough people.

  • Would you be more likely to work while travelling if there were less ‘scary’ superannuation and tax implications? Comment below.
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48 Responses to Grey nomads could solve rural job vacancy problem

  1. I know people already work & are willing to work in Regional areas , Tax Breaks should be looked after they’ve retired paid taxes why not Encourage All Australians to roll up their sleeves for Australian Farmers etc . . Without Being Slogged by The ATO & Pensioners deserve Respect..

    • EXACTLY !! Why should the GN be punished for helping out when most have worked hard all their life and paid taxes. The governement has made it to easy for the ones that choose not to work.

  2. Yes absolutely

  3. Am so pleased to know there are many employers now happy to give grey a chance, so much we can do and happy to contribute.

  4. Fantastic idea. We’re skilled and able but not if it means losing our pension.

    • Totally agree. Would be happy to assist rural farmers where possible as long as Centrelink make the pensions negative

  5. I plan on working my way as we do a slow lap, and it has better not affect my super. Here’s an idea, for all its grey nomads who worked out while life, paid taxes, and are self financed for our retirements, give us the pension to like other countries, the UK FOR EXAMPLE. We’ve worked so we deserve the pension, regardless of personnel wealth.
    But back on topic, yes please let us work if we want, but without any penalty.

  6. Yes, Absolutely. I would work ,only I get penalized for doing so.
    Fruit picking jobs would be great for me .

  7. Yep good idea. I wouldn’t mind paying the backpacker tax but the paperwork required for pensioners would look be dreadful as earning the larger amount in a short time would affect it all.

  8. Yes. Collectively we have such a wide range of skills and experiences. I would be happy for most of it top up my superannuation to use for the future. Many women took time off to raise children, were in the lower superannuation bracket and for a time had unequal pay.

  9. Why would it affect our super, when we don’t get a pension.

    • Absolutely Diane. I don’t get a pension, like many others I am self funded, so what difference would it make?

    • I’m a self funded retired as well and I think the issue is the rate of tax we would have to pay on wages. I think we have to be taxed at the highest rate.

  10. If I did not loose pension. I would gladly help out.

    • You get $330 a fortnight tax free. You also build up a money each fortnight without working. Till you work off this money you get what you earn taken off the fortnightly amount then the balance comes of what you have built up. For example i have built up over $8000 in credits so it would take quite a while to get rid of these credits.

  11. 100% at this stage in life knowledge and dedication are second nature, the hours may be shortened but the ability is still there

  12. My wife and I did the Blaze Aid thing for a year, back in 2018, during the drought, and it was great, but we were flat out. It was good to get something for it, which was our site fees and meals, but earning extra money for working for farmers would help greatly, so long as we were treated with respect, we would do it again. I wouldn’t stump, putting up with bad employers though like we have heard that the backpackers have had to deal with. If the Federal Govt., gave an incentative to us to go work for them, then I reckon they would fill those 35000 jobs real quickly, but I am pretty sure, they, the Govt., wont come to the party, as it is a commonsense idea, and they don’t have any commonsense.

  13. So you think that it is alright to get a pension and be able to work as well. That is double dipping. I have been out of work since August and can’t get a local job and do not qualify for job search and have to live on my savings, so I don’t support this action.

    • Better to work legitimately and pay normal taxes instead of cash in hand – most self funded retirees would have a go if they weren’t penalised for doing so. It would be better for Govt coffers by paying tax and delaying the retirees going on to full pensions.

    • Iam sorry Nigel doesnt have a job, however, we don’t know where he lives. Question Nigel::can you travel to these country areas?.
      The Govt allows pensioners to earn a certain amount without effecting the pension.

    • Nigel there is no way it is double dipping. You WORK for what you EARN. People on a ‘normal’ wage get paid extra for working overtime without affecting their base rate. What’s the difference?

  14. Count me in I, would retire tomorrow if this was to happen. Hopefully, there would be some jobs for mechanical engineers with 40 years of experience.

  15. Great idea. We don’t mind working and it would help us travel more

  16. Nigel, then go out to the farmers , who are crying out for workers, then you wont be unemployed. If the govt., want us to go back to work, then they would have to pay me extra to do that. The pension, is not a working wage to live on flogging an old age person, doing hard farm work. If they topped up our pension to equal the working wage, that would be fair,

  17. And only pay tax, on the extra we receive, not the pension we already get, that would be the fairest deal.

  18. I am self-employed and would love to employ experienced retired people to work in my business, but they always want cash and that is not possible. Bring it on, don’t penalise them, tax should be a flat rate and income should not affect pension or super.

  19. Yes, definitely. Farmers need all the help they can get.

  20. I remember years ago i worked two jobs, one under a false name but still paid tax. Niwadays if yiu donr use your tax file number you dont work. So its not from lack of wanting OR able to, but losing our entitlements after all the years working taking up jobs younger peopke refuse to take up instead of staying on the unemployment and surfing all day.

  21. We the pensioners/ grey nomads and one and all are the government . Those who we elect should stop talking the talk and walk the walk and allow those who travel and wish to work to help them selves and the farmers etc, etc should be allowed immediately if there is such a shortage of workers?? After all aren’t we all Australians and hasn’t this COVID not taught us anything? We were an independent generation with dignity so dump the red tape fir if we earn we spend so it all goes around. Everyone benefits?

  22. I did do it once and reported all income on a weekly basis.Toward the end of my employment the ATO knocked me off my pension and cancelled all concession cards.
    When we got home it took over three months to get reinstated on the pension, not withstanding the income that I had earnt became deplete.
    Not worth the hoop jumping and the same questions over and over to prove I was not rooting the system.

  23. Maybe if Qld didn’t close their borders every time some one in another state sneezes the problem might not be so bad – just saying!

  24. They are not offering work to us out of generosity, it’s because they can’t get anyone else to do it, I applied in Margaret River, but it’s not worth the effort with the tax you pay and the loss of pension

  25. Happy to stay and work in rural towns for extended period as long as I do not lose Penison payment and have to report earnings every fortnight

  26. It’s nothing to do with border closures and everything to do with being able to earn some extra dosh to spend as we tour around without getting the pathetic part-pension pittance hammered by the Feds. All the ability in the world – no incentives.

  27. More than a few entitled people here who want to have the best of both worlds. Pension AND wage. Maybe more logical and fairer if the farmers could discount the wages by the amount of pension received.

    • We can receive the pension by just sitting on our backsides and waiting for happy hour. Or we can get out and WORK to get a little extra which in turn boosts the local economy. We’re not asking for anything extra – just to be allowed to retain what we EARN.

  28. Back in the 1980’s we travelled through out China and unlike Australia, they had NO un-employment.
    If there was a job to be filled on the other side of the country the Government gave you a train ticket, an address and a starting date and that was that!
    Maybe if those on government benefits in Australia were willing to work this scheme may be viable – “what work in the bush miles away from my Coffee Club; you gotta be kidding mate!”

  29. I’ve tried emailing the local Federal member in this regard with only a negative response. I’ve now emailed the local State member who has promised to contact the Federal Shadow Minister. The more I EARN the more I am penalised by losing my pension. At the very least the threshold needs to be raised to a more acceptable level. I’m not asking for more money – just to be allowed to keep what I earn. This not only boosts the local economy but also helps out those businesses desperate for workers.

  30. I am a 71 year old, energetic Grey nomad. As I have worked on farms and in packing sheds for 6 years in Australia, and farmed in NZ, for most of a 40 year period, I miss this life, but had to retire at the age of 70 with a prolapsed disc problem. With having to be on the age pension, I am only able to make $77 a week above my pension, so this makes it impossible to work again. I would so love to be able to help out with any job, as I like challenges and changes.

  31. Absolutely.

  32. If you haven’t made any earnings on the pension in the last year you CAN earn $6000 in total before it affects your pension…go to Centrelink website to check.

  33. Check out the Work Bonus Scheme ? I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has used this scheme. I for one would be more than happy to work out in rural positions as long as the paper trail is not to demanding and i can retain full pension as it would only be seasonal work.

  34. Cash in the hand ….or payment in vouchers ( fuel..groceries..accommodation)

  35. I would love to be out there helping I am a retired farmer have farmed all of my life but SHREK would come after me with all claws out I am also a licensed sports shooter and could help to eradicate feral pests. All for it so come on SCOMO give us a go without penalty.

  36. If there are 35,000 jobs, where are they listed? I put my name up six months ago as a smart cooky, ag engineer, heavy truck licence, can read/write, still waiting. The GNT listing are not the jobs that the treasurer is talking about, where is the list? or is this some political gaming?

  37. The suggestion if allowing Grey Nomads to work and not affect their pendion has great merit and is so obviously a way of resolving the worker crises in regional areas throughout Australia. My wife anf I have taken two positions now during our travels. One fortwo months and currently for five months. This still allows us to enjoy travelling. Howver it does affect our pension and restricts the time we can spend working. If this work did not affect our pension we would be willing to work further

  38. I would be willing depending on taxation and superannuation interfering with my entitlements.

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